Dec 23, 2019

DraftKings going public via reverse merger

Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

DraftKings on Monday announced that it will go public via a reverse merger with a blank-check acquisition company called Diamond Eagle, with a sports betting tech platform called SBTech also being rolled in.

Why it matters: Sports betting is now legal in 11 states, with dozens of others considering legislation.

Big number: The combined company is expected to have an initial market cap of around $3.3 billion.

  • This includes just over $300 million in new investment from institutions like Capital Research & Management, Wellington Management, and Franklin Templeton.
  • DraftKings hit a peak valuation of around $2 billion in 2015, but later pulled back.

The players: DraftKings was a trailblazer in the daily fantasy sports market, regularly competing with FanDuel. The two companies sought to merge in 2016, but were ultimately blocked by U.S. antitrust regulators. FanDuel was later acquired by a publicly-traded Irish company, and now DraftKings has its own backdoor listing.

  • Diamond Eagle, led by veteran media executive Jeff Sagansky and advised by former MGM CEO Harry Sloan, went public earlier this year and says it has around $400 million in its trust account.
  • SBTech is a global provider of sports betting and online gaming infrastructure to online bookmakers.

DraftKings CEO Jason Robins will run the combined company, while his two fellow co-founders and SBTech management also will remain involved.

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Exclusive: The Athletic raises $50 million

Adam Hansmann (left) and Alex Mather (right), co-founders of The Athletic. Photo: Steph Gray, courtesy of The Athletic

The Athletic, a subscription-based digital sports media company, has raised $50 million in a Series D funding round, executives tell Axios.

  • With this investment, the company has raised a total of $139.5 million since its launch in 2016 and is valued at roughly $500 million after the new raise, according to sources familiar with the deal.
Go deeperArrowJan 21, 2020

Stadiums are the new department stores

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Professional sports stadiums and arenas used to be built as standalone venues (think: in the middle of a parking lot). But in a push to expand beyond game day, teams are increasingly building them as anchors for larger real estate projects.

Why it matters: As the areas surrounding modern stadiums evolve from a handful of restaurants, bars and shops into entire "districts" with things like condos, hotels, offices, event spaces and fitness centers, sports teams have unlocked a new revenue stream: land.

Go deeperArrowJan 7, 2020

Kansas City Chiefs hold narrow lead in Super Bowl betting odds

The Chiefs' Patrick Mahomes celebrates a touchdown pass during yesterday's 35-24 victory over the Tennessee Titans in the AFC Championship. Photo: Charlie Neibergall/AP

Early Super Bowl LIV odds have the Kansas City Chiefs as 1.5-point favorites over the San Francisco 49ers.

The state of play : Quarterbacks Patrick Mahomes (KC) vs. Jimmy Garoppolo (SF) — opened last night as a pick 'em at many Las Vegas sports books, AP reports.

Go deeperArrowJan 20, 2020